Greetings from the mesmerizing city of Istanbul, Turkey! Our unexpected journey here unfolded with a delightful mix of history, humor, and the irresistible charm of baklava. Truth be told, Turkey wasn't on our radar initially, but it turned out to be one of our favorite destinations on the trip. Istanbul, with its rich blend of Christian and Muslim history, provided a unique twist to our adventure.
Our encounter with the iconic Hagia Sophia, a marvel that has embraced Christianity, Islam, and everything in between, left us utterly captivated. The architectural journey through the ages, influenced by the Byzantine Empire, Ottoman rule, and a touch of Roman ownership, was nothing short of enchanting. To enter the mosque ladies must cover their hair and all shoes must be removed. Something about the reverence that inspired was really moving.
Navigating the Grand Bazaar, the world's largest market, became a thrilling game of bargain battles. Haggling in Turkey is an art, from silk scarves to Turkish rugs, and each negotiation unfolded an interesting story within the bustling lanes of the Grand Bazaar.
The mosques stole the spotlight with their intricate beauty. From the Blue Mosque to the ethereal dance with angels at Hagia Sophia, every step echoed a harmonious blend of Christian and Muslim influences.
Exploring the depths of Istanbul aboard the Orient Tea Express, sipping on Turkish tea while indulging in tales of renowned Turkish authors, added an extra layer of cultural immersion. The city's feline and canine residents, cared for by the government, brought a whimsical touch to our journey.
Our luxurious cruise with SilverSea granted us the privilege of an overnight stay in Istanbul, granting us the chance to digest the city's undeniable beauty. Anthony's knack for picking up accents, showcased in his newfound Turkish accent, became as big of a highlight as the baklava.
Turkey embraced us with open arms and the warmth of Turkish hospitality prevailed. Here are some pro tips for your own Turkish adventures: guard your passport like it’s treasure, wear your wallet/purse across your chest for added security, stick to tourist-friendly zones on night adventures, and master the art of bargaining finesse at The Grand Bazaar.
We can’t wait to share Day 2 in Istanbul with you! Stay tuned for more adventures. Until then, happy travels!